In today’s market, 78% of jobseekers lie on their job applications, so pre-employment testing has skyrocketed to mitigate these lies. From personality to critical thinking assessments, employers have found a way to test candidates in a way that proves their skills and abilities prior to moving forward in the hiring process.
Taking the time to familiarize yourself with psychometric testing, including the different tests available and sample questions and answers, can help you as you prepare to land your first job in an extremely competitive market, or take the next step in your career.
More than 76% of organizations rely on these assessment tools, so give yourself that extra help by reviewing our sample questions to better prepare for any type of psychometric test that may get thrown your way!
1. Numerical reasoning
When it comes to numerical reasoning, this test is set to measure your ability to interpret data.
These types of tests are typically given to help assess your ability to work with numbers, charts and graphs while gauging your ability to draw conclusions from them. Standardly, they will feature a table or graph of some sort, and you’ll have to select the correct answer from a list of possibilities.
This test would be helpful for sales professionals, supervisory roles, or any position that is required to make company decisions based on numerical data.
Let’s look at a sample question and answer below:
Here you’re evaluating the percentage difference between satisfied and unsatisfied customers for Company A. Based on the information provided, the one with the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied employees at Company A is Learning & Development.
2. Verbal reasoning
Verbal reasoning tests are designed to gauge your language and understanding skills, all while assessing how you’re able to interpret, evaluate and draw logical conclusions from written information.
The key for these tests is to not get caught up in any assumption, big or small, or reread each question before reaching a conclusion.
Let’s review a sample question:
The correct answer here is “The degree of avoidance of social media functions”.
When evaluating for verbal reasoning, this question prompted you to find the difference between the two passages. Through verbal reasoning, you can assess that the disconnect between the two is the selectiveness over the functions of social media, thus creating the correct answer.
3. Abstract reasoning
Also often referred to as diagrammatic reasoning, inductive reasoning or logical reasoning tests, abstract reasoning tests evaluate your strategic thinking by assessing your ability to identify and interpret patterns to evaluate your logical thinking.
Due to the nature of these tests, verifying your ability to spot patterns in a series of figures, they’re used in jobs that are technical in nature, like engineering, IT, finance, healthcare and science.
A good way to practice for an abstract reasoning test is to do lots of puzzles (yes, we’re asking you to do puzzles in your spare time). When completing a puzzle, you’re looking for clues and identifying patterns; the same is true for an abstract reasoning test, which consists of questions like the one below:
Here, you’re using logic to evaluate what would come next sequentially. Based on the image given, when a small shape is seen, next comes a medium shape, so logic would prompt you to deduce that the missing shape following the small square would be a medium square to follow the pattern sequence.
4. Critical thinking
Having strong critical thinking skills would be especially useful in jobs such as lawyers and managers, any high-level position where critical thinking and fast effective decision making is necessary.
The critical thinking test is focused on assessing your ability to logically evaluate information and make a sound judgement. These tests are typically given in paragraph format with data that calls into question one statement. From that statement, you will be asked one or multiple questions and are required to come to a decision but also be able to qualify that decision through justification while being timed.
Stay calm, avoid getting caught up in emotion or ambiguity, and focus on an answer you can justify logically. Let’s review an example question:
The correct answer is “B. Probably true”. It’s important to notice that the announcement explicitly addresses both the college’s staff and its students, insinuating that perhaps the purpose of this was not strictly to evaluate performance to achieve academic excellence but also utilize the students to drive a positive college reputation and, therefore, increase the number of applicants.
In this scenario, answer B would be correct, but only if you can actively define it as well.
5. Situational judgement
This common psychometric test is used in most positions to evaluate your real-time responses, and the nature of them can be considered similar to a behavioral interview scenario. The purpose of situational judgement tests is to assess your decision making and judgement by providing you with some real-life work-specific questions and then test your response.
Typically, you’ll be given a scenario and a few answers that could work, and you’re to choose the answer that is the “most correct” response. To successfully pass a situational judgement test, we recommend understanding the organization you’re applying to and the responsibilities and requirements of the role, as your company could be looking for an answer that fits in with their current processes.
Take the time to consider what potential personality traits your organization could be looking for, and find the answer that aligns with that the closest.
Let’s review a sample question below:
While all responses could work for the situation at hand, here you’re trying to prove the most effective response above all else, which is why number four stands out.
Through this answer, you’re able to utilize your critical thinking skills as well and evaluate the best course of action. Contacting the engineer on behalf of the customer and solving the problem rather than kicking the can down the road would defuse the situation and, hopefully, the customer most effectively.
6. Deductive reasoning
A deductive reasoning test, like a situational reasoning test, is used to assess your ability to use information to reach decisions when there is time and pressure involved. This test focuses specifically on your logical deductive problem-solving skills, honing in on only the information given in front of you, not what you think you know.
These tests can consist of a simple statement, followed by “True”, “False” or “Not enough information” options, or more text in paragraph format with a multiple-choice selection of correct answers.
Here’s an example question:
The correct answer is “A. True”. Given the information in front of you, we know that by using deductive reasoning, you’re taking apart the statements. Crows are black, black birds are loud, and all crows are birds; as such, all crows are loud.
7. Mechanical reasoning
Mechanical reasoning tests are technical in nature and require you to apply mechanical principles to solve specific problems. These tests often can include gears, electrical circuits, leavers, springs, tools, gears and maps to answer questions, and are particularly used for mechanics, machine operations, electricians and assembly line workers.
Here, you’re being tested on how well you can apply mechanical reasoning practically. You’ll be presented with a figure, picture or diagram, and will be asked a direct question about the object. From there, you’ll use mechanical reasoning to either give the correct answer completely on your own or choose from the possible correct answers given.
Let’s look at a sample question to better understand this test:
The correct answer is “Cogwheel 2”. Here, it’s needed to use the concept of gear ratio, defined as the ration between the wheel upon which the force is applied and the wheel to which the force is transmitted.
8. Error checking
Yet another timed test is error checking, which evaluates your ability to identify flaws or error in specific sets of data or texts in order to assess the accuracy of the information. Usually, in these tests, it will require comparison of what is perceived to be correct or original versus an adapted version.
Some of these tests are presented with a list of numbers that seem the same but, in fact, one is different, so be sure to read all the answers carefully.
Let’s go over an example:
The correct answer is “A”. Looking at all the options carefully, you’ll find the small errors. All contain typos that could be easily missed, but which could result in an important document not being sent out correctly.
Personality tests focus on gauging how you prefer to work and may be used by any employer in any field to assess if you’re truly in the specialty that best suits your preferences. These tests will utilize the ranking scale, asking you to rank personality traits in order of importance to better understand your specific personality.
Let’s review a sample question:
There are no right or wrong answers in personality tests. While they may feel overwhelming, these tests are designed to see if your specific personality and work preference would fit in with the organization you’re applying to.
We’re all driven by something; most of the time, that comes down to our key motivators.
Employers may often ask you “What motivates you to be successful?” or “What makes you happy in a job?”, and these questions can help you understand how motivation is important for your success and happiness. Having a comprehensive understanding of what drives you truly is what will help you succeed in your chosen career, and taking a motivation test may do just that!
This test, like a personality test, will typically list a number of important items to motivate someone, and you’ll have to rank them in the order of what would motivate you most to least. Let’s look at an example:
Like in personality test, there are no correct answers in motivations tests. Your answers all boil down to personal preference.
Understanding your career interests can be a big asset for your future career success. This knowledge can help you home in on the jobs that specifically relate to those interests. Finding a job where your day-to-day is not only a personality fit but altogether interested in the job will make work fulfilling and enjoyable.
Like personality and motivation tests, interest-based tests may provide a list of questions that you should organize in order of your level of interest. Let’s review an example question:
It’s important to note that these types of tests are not specific tests you can prepare for; they are simply there to help you evaluate your driving factors and keep applying for roles that best suit you.
You’re now properly equipped with sample questions to help you prepare for the psychometric tests your employer may throw your way. Whether the test is prior to what you believe to be a good interview, or after, take the time to practice the tests that apply to your field as you also research the company.
Got a question? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published on 23 May 2017.